August 28, 2011

When To Buy Extra Insurance For A Rental Vehicle

Most car rental agencies offer special additional rental vehicle insurance to drivers. Rental vehicle insurance can give a driver peace of mind, but it's not always worth the money, as a driver's auto insurance policy usually provides some automatic protection for rental vehicles. In most states, a driver's car insurance coverage transfers to any vehicle that he or she legally operates, and this includes rental cars. Before opting in to extra rental vehicle insurance, it's important to understand how this coverage works and when it's worth the extra cost.

To decide whether or not rental vehicle insurance is worthwhile, drivers should read the collision coverage and comprehensive coverage sections of their car insurance policies. It is important to consider the value of a rental vehicle and to make sure that car insurance coverage is sufficient to cover potential costs; this is particularly important when renting luxury vehicles or anything that is more valuable than a driver's primary car. Deductibles are also very important. Rental vehicle insurance rarely carries a serious deductible, but a driver's car insurance policy might have a deductible of $500 or more. When a deductible is set extremely high on a driver's car insurance policy, extra rental vehicle insurance is usually a good buy, because it provides extra protection from minor dings and dents that a driver would otherwise have to pay for out of pocket.

Drivers should also consider the cost of extra insurance. Some insurance is only a few extra dollars per week, and this type of rental vehicle insurance is well worth the money for the peace of mind that it can provide. However, some rental vehicle auto insurance costs several dollars a day. Expensive rental vehicle insurance is rarely worth the money unless a vehicle is only going to be rented for a day or two. In addition, drivers should note that while rental car reimbursement coverage on an auto insurance policy might pay for the cost of vehicle rental, it would rarely pay for extra insurance–which cost is on the driver to pay, so drivers should not expect assistance from their insurers when buying additional rental car insurance.

Most car insurance experts will err on the side of safety and insist that drivers are better safe than sorry. Rental vehicle insurance is usually affordable and tends to be a very safe, protective purchase. However, drivers should always consider the value of their rental vehicles, the cost of extra insurance and how their existing coverage could pay for damages to a rental car. When rental car insurance isn't necessary, it's an expensive luxury that doesn't provide enough protection to justify its cost.